Seven men jailed and caned for serial burglaries

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Fadley Faisal

The Intermediate Court yesterday handed down sentences against seven local men who had pleaded guilty to a range of offenses of burglary, theft and mischief.

Sitting at the Tutong Courthouse, Judge Pengiran Masni binti Pengiran Haji Bahar handed down sentences of 10 years’ imprisonment with eight canings to Awangku Abdul Malik bin Pengiran Idrus, 28, and Muhammad Irwin Omar, 41.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Nazeerul Azim Zoelaliffin, 28, was sentenced to six years and four months in prison with four beatings; Abdul Hafiz Adam, 25, was sentenced to nine months in prison; Mohammad Hairul Faizal bin Haji Taim, 38, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison with two beatings; Mohd Zul Eqram bin Haji Asmad, 39, was sentenced to 12 years in prison with nine beatings; and Muhammad Nur Syazwan Suhaili, 34, was sentenced to three years in prison with three beatings.

Judge Pengiran Masni asked the defendants to reflect on their personal lives and the families they will leave behind during their sentence.

The court also hopes that the current sentences will serve as a lesson learned and repentance, and eventually change them for the better when they are released.

Prosecutor Ahmad Firdaus bin Mohammad revealed that in alternate implications; the men had broken into a house in Jalan Lambak Kiri at 1 a.m. on November 4, 2021, taking a flat-screen TV and a CCTV camera. Police investigations were aided by CCTV footage leading to their arrests.

On April 13, 2021, the men entered a labor construction camp at Jalan Kebangsaan Lama at 8:30 a.m., where they stole three mobile phones.

A worker saw the men pick up the phones and shouted for help, but the defendants escaped. A police report, however, led to their arrest.

Some of the men also broke into the Brunei Institute of Technical Education (IBTE) Nakhoda Ragam campus between August and September 2021 where they ransacked and stole food, a pedestal fan, a rice cooker and a radio from his kitchen.

The men then sold the electrical appliances to a scrap yard.

A school staff member filed a police report after discovering that several items were missing.

On October 31, 2021, some of the men stole cables from an unoccupied house in Kampong Peninjau, Jerudong.

The owner discovered the theft when he attended the scene and handed over CCTV footage to assist police in their investigation.

Meanwhile, two of the defendants broke into the waste composting facility, the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (JASTRe) on June 29-30, 2021, where they stole a blower and two mowers lawn in a storage building.

A staff member filed a police report after carrying out the theft.

The same duo hit a house in Jalan Pasir Berakas on the night between October 9 and 10, 2021 where they stole personal documents and other belongings.

The owner realized his property was missing and reported the theft to the police.

Four of the seven defendants broke into an empty house in Jalan Mejawa, Kampong Jerudong between October 21 and 22, 2021.

They took cash, a television, a karaoke set, a DVD player and a safe containing jewelry. The owner returned home to find that his house had been broken into and reported it to the police.

Alternately implicated, the men hit a house in Jalan Pasir Berakas on November 11, 2021, stealing cash, jewelry and electronics; a house in Jalan Binglu Utara, RPN Meragang on October 18, 2021, theft of food and other property; and an unoccupied house in Kampong Peninjau, Jerudong on October 21, 2021 by stealing an automatic gate cable.

One of the accused, assisted by other unidentified people, damaged and stole battery cells and grounding cables from a power station building in Bukit Shahbandar on September 24, 2021.

The incident caused a major disruption to UNN, exceeding BND 150,000 in damages.

The same defendant, assisted by other unidentified people, cut and stole cables from the Berakas power plant in Bukit Shahbandar in October 2021, causing more than BND 5,000 in damage.

Two of the seven men also stole BND 10,000 worth of goods when they broke into a house in Bebatik Kulapis in September 2021.

Prosecutor Ahmad Firdaus also provided the court with all prior convictions of the defendants recording at least one offense against their backgrounds, all related to thefts.

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